Again, this is simple psychology. For example, going for a walk is much more tiring when you don’t know where the end is. We feel much more comfortable when we have a map. The same idea applies online.
6. Remove any repetitive actions
It’s super frustrating inputting the same data twice on a form (like a billing address and a shipping address). Try to get rid of any repetitive actions that slow the purchasing process.
It’s things like this that lead to cart abandonment. Your visitors will look elsewhere.
Even better, create a system that remembers your customers’ preferences. It will surprise and delight them when it’s all there waiting for them again. It’s a simple thing that improves the chances of return customers.
7. Use tool-tips to help newbies (but don’t impede the experts!)
Some of your visitors will be regulars. They’ll blast through your signup sheets and purchasing process. Others will be brand new, and they might have some questions along the way.
Little ‘tool-tip’ icons (often identified with a question mark) will help the newbies understand what they need to do. But at the same time, they don’t get in the way of your experts.
Better yet, make it a clear, bold color (greens and oranges work wonders here), and surround it with white space. That should draw your users’ eye straight to it, giving them a clear indication that this is what you want them to do.
9. Make a clear distinction between primary and secondary calls-to-action
With a lot of calls-to-action, you’ll see two options. ‘Submit’ and ‘cancel’ for example. Or ‘download now’ and ‘free trial’.
It’s clear which action you want the visitor to take, so make sure they know it. Check out Spotify’s homepage. They’ve made the ‘go premium’ button bold and eye-catching. They’ve made the ‘play free’ button fade into the background.
This is just simple psychology again. You subtly let your users know which one to click.
10. Use hierarchy to show users where to go next
Hopefully, you should have a clear ‘user journey’ in mind. Let’s say you teach online courses through your website. A simple user journey might look like this:
Read latest blog > download free report and sign up to the mailing list > enroll in your paid online course.
If you have a clear journey, you can create a visual hierarchy to direct users where you want them. In this case, you’d make sure your blog was the first thing they see. Then, you’ll begin to include lots of links to your mailing list.
11. Don’t mess with expected elements!
It’s often hard to resist the urge to get creative with layouts and elements. But the thing is, we all know what an online store is supposed to look like. We expect products to be laid out in simple categories. We expect product descriptions, reviews and a familiar purchase process.
Don’t try to reinvent the wheel with these crucial aspects! Keep it simple.
12. Stick to a simple 3-color palette
Again, this is all about resisting the urge to over-complicate things. Combining more than 3 primary colors is difficult and it will often confuse your users.
In these cases, you’re going to want a simple, but distinct error or alert message. Make sure it’s distinct in color and style to anything else on your site. It gives a clear indication that something needs action.
You should also make these alert messages consistent across your whole site. Don’t use a different color, style or placement as it just becomes confusing.
17. LIMIT CAPS LOCK TEXT
It’s just annoying.
Actually, there are more important reasons than that. We actually read uppercase text slower than lower-case. So it’s much more difficult to scan read (which is how we generally read the internet).
Reserve caps lock for when you really need to make an impact.
18. Group related items together
This is specifically for ecommerce websites, but it works across the board.
Try to keep similar and related items in the same place. It means your visitors and customers get a much more tailored service, almost like you’ve anticipated their needs.
You can do this with physical products, like Amazon’s ‘more like this’ selection. You can also do a similar thing with blog posts and articles, using a related content section.
It keeps visitors browsing through your site, reduces your bounce rate, and creates a more personal experience.
19. Keep everything consistent
The last thing you want is a visitor to click a link and feel like they’ve navigated to a different website.
Make sure your navigation bar stays in the same place, no matter where you are on the site. Ensure your logo is always visible and the color palette remains the same.
20. Design the layout for eye scanning
We don’t read websites like we read a book. Our eyes jump and scan for the important information.
Typically we read websites in an F-pattern, but bold images and calls-to-action are also known to catch the eye first.
21. Build trust with testimonials and social proof
Most visitors to your website arrive with their guard up. They’re naturally cautious of new sites, and certainly aren’t ready to buy from you just yet.
As I said, a key part of UX design is removing these barriers, and making people feel comfortable on your website. A few well-placed testimonials and factoids will make people feel more at ease. We like to see that other people (ideally big names) have used your product and service, and approve of it.
22. Let users know what they can play with!
Websites are typically made up of two parts: Number one: content – it’s static and we can’t interact with it. And number two: controls – these are things we can click and play and interact with.
Twitter are great at this. Simple black text for content. Blue text indicates what you can click on and interact with. Icons fill with colour when you rollover to show what you can play with.
Invite people to play with your website!
23. Create a gentle learning curve
No-one likes to get stuck on a confusing and difficult website.
Try to give your visitors a quick-win almost immediately. Ease them in and make it simple – especially if you’re offering a tricky business proposition.
24. Find a way to empathize with your visitor quickly
User experience is all about mimicking a human relationship and making a connection with your user. Empathy is a huge part of this – What are your visitors’ goals and dreams? What’s been holding them back so far?
Immediately let them know that you understand their problem. You can do this with an image that they can relate to, or a sentence that sums up their biggest problems.
Your visitor will think ‘this website gets me!’ which is a great user experience to create.
25. Use micro-interactions to create a dialogue
Try to provide feedback to your user at every small part of the journey. It will create a real communication and relationship that users respond to.
You can do this with copy, such as “Good job!” “We thought you might like this”, “would you like to speak to an expert?”
Or small graphics and visuals, like a thumbs up, a smiley face or a ticking clock on a loading page.
Combine these small tweaks and you’ll create a user experience that builds trust, connects with your target audience, and leaves them feeling happy and with a sense of achievement.
Are you using any of these UX design tricks? I’d love to hear about any I’ve missed to! Let me know in the comment section.
Daren Low is the founder of Bitcatcha.com and co-developer of the free Server Speed Checker. With a decade of experience in website development and internet marketing to his name, Daren is considered a premier authority on all things related to building and managing an online presence. Feel free to pick his brain by connecting via Google+ and Twitter.
Like What You've Read?
If so, please join over 5,000 subscribers who receive update from Bitcatcha. We send out exclusive online business tips and tricks on building a successful online business. Subscribe now!